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Disaster, Earthquake Drill Held Across Turkey

Turkey on Saturday held a disaster and earthquake drill marking the 23rd anniversary of the 1999 D├╝zce earthquake, which killed close to 900 people. This year also marks the 23rd anniversary of the far more destructive Izmit earthquake, which killed around 18,000 people and injured more than 43,000 in August 1999.

The nationwide exercise, the first of its kind, began just before 7 pm local time and lasted a few minutes. It was coordinated by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority. During the drill, citizens received emergency warnings on their cellphones, while radio and TV stations broadcast an emergency message instructing the public to “drop-cover-hold on.”

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said after the drill that the “first run of this integrated notification system of radio, television, and phone messages was to see our technological sufficiency.” He added: “These kinds of drills and education are as important to us as establishing disaster-resistant cities.”